• IDRA Newsletter • October 2011 •

Tributes from Colleagues and Friends

“Dr. C, advisor, my life-long mentor, El Jefe… You were truly my mentor and advisor… You’ve touched so many lives; you’ve been an inspiration, an untiring advocate for equal educational opportunity for all children, and that philosophy carried me through my professional career.”
– Dr. Max Spencer Castillo, Former President, University of Houston-Downtown

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Dr. Cárdenas’ family… Our profession is full of stories like mine, people who had dreams and were encouraged, guided and challenged by José to make them reality. To so many, he has been a friend, mentor, colleague and guiding light. The world has been a better place simply because of his physical presence here, however, today, the universe quietly sheds a tear as we mourn the loss of a truly great man.”
– Dr. Paul Martinez, Director, Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations, New Mexico Highlands University

“I am also saddened by the passing of one of our most consistent and persistent advocates. Dr. Cárdenas always stood up for the disenfranchised and did so with dignity, grace and class.”
– Dr. Baltazar Acevedo, Professor, College of Education, University of Texas-Pan American

“One of the tests for determining the quality of a person’s life is how she or he made a difference or changed the world for the betterment of many. José Cárdenas changed the world in profound ways. He is a great loss. He will be missed. He taught us so much.”
– Dr. Richard Gambitta, Director, Institute for Law and Public Affairs, University of Texas at San Antonio

Visit our online memorial for Dr. Cárdenas to share your thoughts and stories and read others.

“José was a great and highly respected leader in the world of education. Many people have felt the positive effects of his life both as an educator and an advocate. And many more will continue to do so through all that he has helped to create.”
– Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, U.S. House of Representatives

“Extremely sad news… Superintendent of the Edgewood district, founder of IDRA, leader in efforts for school finance equity for 40 years, lead theoretician and activist behind the development of bilingual education – one of the smartest people I have ever met. José was also lead expert witness in cases on school finance, bilingual education, education of the undocumented, testing and higher education access. We have lost a real champion. José, descanse en paz!”
– Al Kauffman, Associate Professor of Law, St. Mary’s University

“The National Association for Bilingual Association mourns the passing of Dr. Cárdenas. We are grateful for his contributions to education and equity.”
– Dr. Rossana Ramirez Boyd, President, National Association for Bilingual Education

“He was a true pioneer in all respects. By his efforts so many have been helped and will continue to be helped. We are honored to be associated with IDRA, the agency he founded, and respectfully share with you our sadness at his passing. May God bless and rest the family during this time.”
– Jose Medrano, South Texas Adult Resource and Training Center (START Center)

“Whereas, An individual possessing great expertise, integrity and determination, José Cárdenas used his abilities to help ensure that the benefits of education are available to all, and his accomplishments will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of countless people for many years to come; now, therefore be it resolved that tribute be paid to the memory of Dr. José Cárdenas…”
– State of Texas Resolution issued on September 22, 2011, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas House of Representatives

“I know I speak for many, many educators and school board members that, though they never knew you, they were privileged to have heard your message(s) and, as such, assisted in opening the “bilingual doors of opportunities” that had previously been either closed or very difficult to open by so many students.”
– Vickie Gomez, Retention Officer, University of Texas – Permian Basin; former board member, Ector County ISD, Texas

“Whereas, Dr. Cárdenas was renowned for his brilliant mind, his intellectual curiosity, and his pursuit of educational justice and equity for Latino children; he wrote several books on education…; in 1973, he founded the Intercultural Development Research Association, a nationally known institution that conducts research and develops curriculum and education theory… Proclaimed, that the Senate of the State of Texas hereby pay tribute to the life of José Cárdenas…”
– Texas Senate Proclamation No. 309, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Texas Senate

“I first met José in 1972 and that meeting pretty much determined the course of the next 40 years of my professional life. Mentor, inspiration, leader, take your pick.”
– Roger Rice, Executive Director, META Inc. (Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy, Inc.)

“Whenever you see a young child going into an early childhood education classroom and receiving instruction that affirms and respects and supports who he is, you can say, ‘Paso por aqui, José Cárdenas.’ When you see the numbers of our young people graduating from college and you see them going on to master’s degrees and doctoral degrees, you can say, ‘Paso por aqui, José Cárdenas.’ And for those of us who loved, who learned and cherished him, we will say in our hearts, ‘Paso por aqui, José Cárdenas.’”
– Dr. Blandina Cárdenas (from eulogy), retired, President, University of Texas – Pan American

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©2011, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the October 2011 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]